So the last time I wrote something on this blog I’d just kicked off the year feeling energised, motivated and excited about all the active adventure plans we had in place.
Fast forward a couple of months and the world couldn’t be more different. If I’m honest I’ve mainly spent the last few weeks figuring out what on earth is going on and how to cope with it. As I’m sure many people have!
There were several events and activity weekends that I had booked that should have taken place by now (and obviously haven’t). James and I are also crossing all our fingers and toes that our wedding in August might still be able to take place. I’m someone that manages best with structure, a daily routine and lots of future plans in the calendar so this situation is very much out of my comfort zone! Despite the certainty of another three weeks of confirmed lockdown, it is a struggle not knowing what will happen after that.
There is also the added pressure of trying to juggle working from home, homeschooling a child who is only here half the time, keeping the house running (including the mission that is supermarket shopping, and cleaning with people literally untidying again around you!), as well as staying active. It truly is a challenge! I feel guilty about acknowledging this though, as I know that it’s not a challenge unique to just me by any means, and there are so many people who are in much more difficult situations than we are.
I’m still working and we are extremely lucky to live in a house that has enough space for us all to be at home and in different rooms doing different things (definitely a blessing!), as well as a garden. There are lots of lovely places to explore on our doorstep and having a pet – albeit one who drools and snores – is definitely a pick-me-up.
Whilst there are occasional feelings of guilt over exercising outside (mainly brought on by all the people ranting on social media!) my ‘one-a-day outdoor exercise’ is what is keeping me going. Having only to walk from my bedroom to my desk to get to work these days, I’m not as active as as I previously was so outdoor exercise is vital for both my physical and mental health.
I really hope that one of the positive outcomes of this situation, is the newfound appreciation that people will have for getting outside and the value that we will place on sport and physical activity as a necessary part of our lives. With gyms, leisure centres and sports clubs having been forced to close I’ve seen so many more people out with their family playing football in the park, walking the dog together or going on bike rides. There are fewer cars on the roads so people feel safer cycling with younger children, and the reduced pollution is nice too, particularly for someone with asthma!
Now that we’ve been told that we can only go outside to exercise once a day, I find I’m placing much more importance on that ‘one’ – “where shall I go?”, “what shall I do?” – and making sure I really take in the experience, be in the moment and appreciate all the little things that I see, hear, smell, feel etc along the way. With lockdown coinciding with us turning the corner into spring, I’m loving seeing the changes in nature that have taken place over the last three weeks with more birds and butterflies around, flowers bursting into life and blossom on the trees.
Adjusting to this new ‘normal’ is tricky, but getting outside and staying active is one way that we can all weather the storm.
How are you coping in lockdown? Has the outdoors and physical activity become more important?
*Current government guidelines surrounding coronavirus can be viewed on the gov.uk website.
*If you are an asthmatic looking for specific advice about coronavirus and asthma visit the Asthma UK website.